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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
reggie miles NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle) (162* d) Lyr Add: SOMETIMES THAT BEAR BITES YOU (R Miles) 13 May 10

mg, I'm sorry if I missed something here. Are you saying that folks having their children in strollers are in danger of having those children bitten by unruly dogs at such events simply because they ride at the same general level of the dogs in question? This is not a public safety issue. It is up to the parents of said children to be aware of the circumstance into which they are bringing their children, a public park, on a national holiday, during a large music event, where, yes, others may also be bringing their animals.

I've never witnessed this kind of an incident taking place at this event or at any other and I've visited and performed at countless such events in my 30+ years of playing music in crowded public spaces. That's not saying it might not have happened or that it won't happen in the next few minutes, tonight, tomorrow or next week sometime. I'm just saying that we can sit around our keyboards a dream up all kinds of "what ifs" until were blue in the face. Then, we can sit around in various town, city, state gatherings dreaming up all manner of safety codes and regulations for all of the fears that we've invented and none of them will ever make certain that our interactions in such places are, in fact, 100% safe.

As a matter of fact, the regulations won't guarantee anything of the kind. They may quell some fears in the hearts and minds of those who craft such micromanaging techniques. In their minds they are doing all they can for public safety. The real issue is, are they doing all they can to "truly" help. More often than not those folks will go right on micromanaging everyone's activities until you can't scratch your nose in public without being accused of a felony.

Let's take a real and present tangible example to illustrate just how inane the regulations that NW Folklife have enacted are. The same regulation that I was accused of breaking, sitting under a covered walkway offering my art, did not seem to apply, in the least, to any vendor on the grounds. Now, how is it that a single performer with an acoustic guitar can be guilty and ousted from the event using police force but the same infraction somehow magically doesn't apply at all to those vendors who were doing just exactly what I was? Except, in their case, they ALWAYS cause huge traffic issues all weekend long. The difference between me and them was only that they were forking over copious amounts of cash to the event organizers, paying them off, to break the regulations and have security look the other way.

The Court has made plain that I don't have to pay anyone, anything, to exercise my First Amendment rights on public property. NW Folklife wants to pretend that they have the right to ignore the Court's ruling on this matter. They want to micromanage performers in order to placate the vendors who are paying copious amounts of cash to vend at this event. They don't want vendors getting upset by performers that might block traffic, that might otherwise pass by a vendor's wares. What you have here is a private security force not acting in the best interest of public safety but rather in the best interest of those who have paid copious amounts of cash to the event organizers. That, simply put, is an issue of big money unlawfully trying to dictate the rule of law. (The Haves vs The Havenots)

Look at what's going on in the Gulf of Mexico if you want a fine example of how big money dictating the rule of law works. Instead of safety minded regulations being put in place for the good of all, big money was able to side step the process of safety by, no doubt, paying off, with copious amounts of cash, the right political parties or agencies involved with such regulatory actions. Now, look at the mess they've caused. This is exactly what is going on at NW Folklife. Those with money are getting away with creating safety issues while those without are demonized, and criminalized even when they are not causing any such issues. Open your eyes America!

Who would have thought that the idiot, that did, would have pulled out his loaded hand gun, safety off, to pistol whip someone at Folklife two years ago? He even had a permit to carry it. The fact, that he had a permit, probably made a whole lot of folks happy and safe feeling but that didn't stop him from acting as irresponsibly as possible. There will always be those who cannot find it within themselves to behave and hence, why such micromanaging is pointless.

Lightning could strike any one of us dead in the next few moments. We might drown in our own bathtubs after hitting our heads because we slipped on the wet surface of the tub. I could get a paper cut from loading paper into my printer. Any number of accidents could, can and do happen. We can't possibly regulate to address them all. Nor can we even reasonably address which ones we should prioritize higher than others.

I am always amazed to hear each year how many tornadoes follow very specific paths throughout the Midwest and yet folks still seem oblivious to that fact and settle in areas that have been devastated time and time again. It's the same with those who live in hurricane areas along the Gulf Coast and flood plains all across the country. No amount of loss of life or damage seems to convince people that those areas are bad places to live. I think that these horrific natural disasters rank a bit higher on my list than the concerns you've mentioned and yet nothing has been done to regulate folks from living in many of those areas of the country that continue to be plagued by such ruin.

Reasonable regulations are one thing but even these, when enforced by unreasonable, power hungry individuals, who act without just cause to excess and to the detriment of liberty, become pointless exercises in man's inhumanity toward man. In this country we've crafted checks and balances into our system for the creation of such legislation and its enforcement and yet even with this system, meant to create order, peace and liberty, we are plagued from within and without our carefully crafted system, by those who would pervert it and subvert it to their own ends, case in point, NW Folklife's blatant disregard for our First Amendment right to freedom of expression. It is a protected right and not a privilege that we should have to pay them to enjoy!

I agree with The Shambles. Life is dangerous. We're all gonna shuffle off this mortal coil sooner or later. How are you going to spend your life? Will you spend it statistically determining the least dangerous path, always fearing the worst? (Cup half empty) Or, will you bravely risk the course and challenges that each new day brings. (Cup half full) Stuff happens and it ain't all good stuff either.

Sometimes That Bear Bites You by Reggie Miles 2008

Sometimes you get to bite that bear,
Sometimes that bear bites you.
You can never be sure of weather.
It may be cloudy but it could turn blue.
And nobody knows which way the wind blows,
But it blows just the same and it's true,
That sometimes you get to bite that bear,
Sometimes that bear bites you.

You might be ridin' in the finest limo,
Or starrin' in a Hollywood picture or two.
You may be havin' a ball at your A-list party
Sippin' champagne from a shoe,
But you know it won't last forever
Every up has its downside too
Yes, sometimes you get to bite that bear,
And sometimes that bear bites you.

You may be an ace at card play,
Or have a knack for rollin' them dice.
And you may win at most every spin,
Of that roulette wheel of life.
But haven't you heard,
You can't win 'em all,
Is the only permanent rule?
Yes, sometimes you get to bite that bear,
And sometimes that bear bites you.

Sometimes you get to bite that bear,
Sometimes that bear bites you.
Ain't no sense in feelin' bad, mad or, sad
Disappointed, angry or blue.
Cuz in this go round there's just one game in town
One toss of the coin then you're through
Yes, sometimes you get to bite that bear,
And sometimes that bear bites you.

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